ORRINGTON, Maine — While most people in the United States are preparing for holiday activities, local volunteers with Operation Christmas Child are filling shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas. The year-round project of international relief aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect thousands of gift-filled shoeboxes during National Collection Week which ends Monday, Nov. 19.
Anyone can drop off a packed shoebox at one of the Orrington-area locations. Then, using whatever means is necessary — trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants — the shoebox gifts will be hand-delivered to children in need in 100 countries around the world.
Collection sites are:
— Lighthouse Church of God, 696 River Road, Orrington. Collection hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14-24; 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18; and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19. For information, call 800-353-5949.
— Winterport Baptist Church, 100 Coles Corner Road, Winterport. Collection hours are 6-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 14-15; 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16; 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17; 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18; and 1-3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19. For information, call 800-353-5949.
Many other churches in the Bangor area also participate in Operation Christmas Child program.
For information, go to samaritanspurse.org.